Monday, February 23, 2009


I took the Überhund for a walk this morning and when we were almost back to the apartment, I heard the Exfactor's motorcycle. I said to the dog, "Come on, your old boss is here, " but he didn't react at all. I schlepped him home with me and then he reacted very happily when he saw the Exfactor. He does his little puppy dance and runs around in circles all the while squealing like a little piglet. It's a little overdone, but what the heck. For some reason, in those first few minutes, he still associates the Exfactor with pleasant things.

We went inside and I learned my lesson really well today about why I am not married to the Exfactor anymore, nor why I ever would wish to be again.

You see, the man is a very dominant person and when he comes over, it is not to ask how I am, but to tell me in the greatest detail what he has been doing in the days since I last saw him. It doesn't matter what I am wearing or what I look like or if I am red and purple with stripes all over. He just starts up his monologue and when he is finished with it, he leaves again, feeling very satisfied and convinced that we've had a good talk.

His conversations are all about him, everything is centered around him, he has to be the focus of all the attention. When I bring up something else, he manages to relate it back to him and how that plays in his life and how he is bothered by situations like that. He makes broad statements that leave out any chance for discussion and is very feisty in his opinions. He is an exhausting man, who leaves you feeling that you are trying to move a mountain emotionally.

He closes up immediately when I bring up a point of delicate discussion between the two of us and instantly changes the subject, so that we never get done talking about it. I do not get to make an astute observation that would set me free if he understood what I was talking about. So I have to set myself free. He doesn't allow me to talk about our shared past and what we could have learned from it.

And do you think he noticed my haircut? He looked at me a dozen times, but he didn't take it in.

He is a very self centered person who tolerates people around him as long as they behave the way he thinks they ought to behave and that means going along with his egocentricity. Letting him be the center of attention constantly. The kid that brags, "Look Ma, no hands!"

He is especially this way when he has spent some time with his twin brother, because they are both the same and they try to outdo each other when they are together. There is a kind of aggression there to be the top dog and to outshine the other one. There is lots of macho behavior all hiding under a thin layer of civility.

I am not going to apologize for being blunt about this. I think I've kept quiet about this long enough. Life's tough when you live with a little dictator and I am glad to be out from underneath it. I think the things I dislike about the Exfactor's twin brother are the exact same things I don't like about the Exfactor himself. It fills me with an intense feeling of aversion and makes me realize how lucky I am to have escaped with my sanity intact, after all, because these people play an enormous power game with you constantly. You have to be very strong to hold up underneath it.

Today I saw the Exfactor at his worst behavior, the way I saw him many times and all the memories came flooding back. How I was always teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown from being around him. How I became incompetent around him and could not do the simplest things right. How unruly and stressed the animals were when he was home. How I loved and loathed him at the same time. How unpredictable he was. How very, very opinionated and dismissive. Most of all, how he made me dependent on him for the simplest things, so I lost my autonomy and my self image. I didn't have a clue as to how to act independently and I seldom had a penny to my name.

It was a good lesson today, lest I fall into some rose tinted nostalgia. It's best to see things for what they really are, under all circumstances. The thought of having him here underfoot, every day and every night is unbearable to me. I have no room for him. Physically and emotionally. He takes up much more than his alloted space. He comes with too much baggage.He comes with a lot of stuff.

I have a feeling that there is not much introspection happening. He is going to get fired from his job as of March the first. Irreconcilable differences with the management. He had a good job and two crucial diplomas and he is throwing it all away to be unemployed at the age of 58. He thinks he will quite easily find another job, but I doubt it very much the way things look now. I don't know why he has let it come this far. It's a foolish thing having to do with being stubborn. He'll be out of work for months and walking around with his soul under his arm.

I'm doing fine now, having recuperated from the shocking discovery of facing the real Exfactor again. I realize more than anything that my fate is in my own hands and that that is the safest place it can be and that I am never going to relinquish it again. I'm to be my own mistress and my own guardian. Who takes better care of me than I do? I will not make space for anyone else to take on even a bit of that role in my life. I think I have been cured of that forever. I never want to be anything close to a helpless female again. It's a rotten role to be stuck in and very insecure. I don't want some stuffed potentate leading my life.

Well, thank you for letting me unload, finally. It's been a real pleasure. For those of you reading this who ought not to, I pity you in making these discoveries. Maybe it is time you move on to other blogs and stop peeking into my life.

Have a great rest of the day. It is still a holiday here because of Carnival. No stores are open and I am just going to make it with my groceries.



Elaine said...

Good for you, Irene! If only I had the courage to do what you just did and put it into black and white exactly what I think about my past and how I was treated.

One big brownie point heading your way :)

dianeclancy said...

Hi Irene,

This is great how much insight, clarity and independence you have gained! So glad that you are glad to be free of him without regrets!

It is special to see your transitions through all this time!! Good for you!!!!

I have something for you over at my blog ...

~ Diane Clancy

aims said...

I'm noting this post down Irene so that I can point it out to you when you forget.

I'm delighted for you - you know that.

You've come a long way baby! (wasn't that for a cigarette ad way back when)

Giving you the go girl sign!

Maggie May said...

Irene, there are many people like that, who don't listen but like to talk.
You are wiser now by far.

Babaloo said...

Good riddance is all I can say after reading all this. You've been getting on very well without him!

VioletSky said...

And doesn't it feel great now, with that realization and the writing of it?

BTW, your new sidebar addition of music had me falling off my chair as I had the sound turned way up for a previous listen to something that was too quiet...

I'm okay now.

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh Irene:
I'm so proud of you as you should be so proud of you.
How far your distance and how great your knowledge and insight now!
You see him so clearly, as do I. I was married to someone just like him.

John said...

For me one great benefit of a journal - and yours is the finest I have ever seen unpublished- is that "how you feel any day" shifts. Thus, a great day or a horrid day are all part of a continium for which there should be no dispair.

Lucid post.age.wisdom.

My best.

I like the image of your mother liking "Great Balls of Fire."

Bev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Breakfast in California said...

It's great that you were able to look at him so objectively and know you made the right decision.